With success on the track, in the pool, and expectations high ahead of the Rugby World Cup, August was a bumper month for Olytico to analyse the Sport for Business member organisations’ activity on social media.

Whilst activity fell 15% vs July, that was the highest month of the year to date.  Today’s analysis highlights the success Irish teams and individuals delivered across a number of sports, resulting in over 5.4 million engagements (+4%), the largest total since March 2023.

We have also bitten the pill that is X and have switched our previous references to Twitter over to the new brand.  Sorry to those who still refer to it by its former name but time and change are intertwined so here we go.

A date for your diary as well.  We will be hosting an Irish Sport on Social Media Conference at the Axis Theatre in Ballymun, Dublin on the morning of Friday, November 24th.

There will be learning, networking and more with details and the release of speakers as well as tickets in the next week or so on Sport for Business.

In the infographics below, we have ranked each of the organisations across a range of metrics on each network, including the most active, the most engaged with, and the most engaging content as well as engagements per 1,000 followers where possible.

It is important to note that this analysis is based on publicly available data. It does not include any analysis or insight on paid or promoted content. When % figures are used (unless otherwise stated), they refer to the previous month’s figures.



August 2023 Highlights on X


Activity on X fell 19% in August, with the 5,200 posts generating over 420,000 engagements (-16%).

Cycling Ireland topped the activity charts, their 484 posts (+365%) included more success for Katie-George Dunlevy and Linda Kelly as they became the 2023 World Champions in the WB Time Trial in Glasgow.


In second, Golf Ireland (405, +19%) celebrated the success of the Boys’ Team who secured a 7-5 victory over England to win the Boys’ Home Internationals.


And in third Cricket Ireland (397, +48%) featured Barry McCarthy bringing up his maiden T20I half-century with a huge six off the last ball of the innings.


Special mentions go to Badminton Ireland (40, +60%) as U13 Carol Joy beat Michelle Chen to win the English Gold star, and IWA-Sport (57, +12%) as Casey Fitzgerald finished in 3rd, and Angela Long finished in fifth in Group C for their debut Senior Para Powerlifting World Championships.



The IRFU returned to the top of the engagement charts with an average of 765 engagements per post (+77%). Their top content featured this wholesome moment as Keith Earls led the team out alongside his three daughters ahead of winning his 100th cap.


In second, Ireland Football (445, -43%) celebrated the fact that the Ireland WNT vs Canada was the most watched women’s team sport event in Irish TV history, with an average of 551,000 viewers tuning in for the game,


And in third, Athletics Ireland (278, +205%) congratulated the mixed relay team of Jack Raftery, Sophie Becker, Christoper O’Donnell, & Sharlene Mawdsley as they finished sixth in the world.


Irish Sailing (9, +350%) celebrated qualification for Paris 2024 as Finn Lynch secured Ireland’s spot in the Men’s Dinghy event.


Whilst the LOI Women’s account paid tribute to those players who represented the League in the World Cup.


For the third month in a row, Athletics Ireland (2,083) topped the ‘average engagements per 1,000 followers’ metric. With the success seen in Budapest it’s perhaps no surprise they also provided the most engaged with content on X in August as 20-year-old superstar Rhasidat Adeleke finished 4th in her first global final, with the post generating over 9,000 public engagements to date (link).


August 2023 Highlights on Facebook



Facebook activity fell 16% in August, with 3,241 posts generating over 1 million engagements (-9%).

Cricket Ireland topped the activity charts with 412 posts (+7%) as they kept fans up to date with all the action from the ODI Series against India. Athletics Ireland in second (334, -4%) celebrated as Sarah Lavin broke Derval O’Rourke’s long-standing national record with a stunning 12.62 in the semi-final of the World Championships, and in third, the Ladies Gaelic Football account (245, -40%) saw Hannah Tyrrell of Dublin awarded the Player of the Match after the 2023 TG4 LGFA All-Ireland Senior Championship Final between Dublin and Kerry.

As the Provinces returned to rugby pre-season and with the Vodafone Interprovincial in full swing, we saw Ulster Rugby (100, +138%), Leinster (153, +89%), and Connacht (108, +80%) returning to the platform with vigour.

Irish Rugby (5,775, +33%) continues to dominate the Facebook average engagement per post rankings, with the FAI (618, -44%) in second and Athletics Ireland (572, +95%) in third. Paralympics Ireland (2,147, +850%) in second and the FAI (1,111, +79%) in third.

Special mention to Badminton Ireland (140, +112%) as Rachael Darragh made it through to the last 32 of the World Championships, Swim Ireland (314, +85%) as Ireland topped the medal table at the inaugural LEN European U23 Swimming Championships in Dublin, and Hockey Ireland (133, +68%) as the Women’s team progress to the Olympic Qualifiers in January.

Athletics Ireland (3,130) topped the average engagements per 1,000 followers metric, with Swim Ireland (873) in second, and Golf Ireland (777) in third.

The IRFU provided the top content on Facebook in August as they celebrated Keith Earls’ milestone 100th cap against England at the Aviva. Their post with Earls and his family post-match has generated over 50,000 public engagements to date.


August 2023 Highlights on Instagram



Instagram activity fell slightly in August, however, the 2,155 posts (-2.71%) generated close to four million engagements (+10.5%).

The League of Ireland topped the activity charts with 236 posts (-2%) as Daryl Horgan returned to Dundalk and Evan Ferguson was featured on BBC’s Football Focus.



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A post shared by League of Ireland (@leagueofireland)

Athletics Ireland in second place (203, +1%) bought us this post-competition interview with the new European U20 Long Jump Champion, Elizabeth Ndudi.


And in third, Irish Rugby (144, +109%) and Captain Johnny Sexton departed for France thanks to Aer Lingus.



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A post shared by Irish Rugby (@irishrugby)

Ulster Rugby (28, +250%) looked back on Rob Herring’s debut in 2012 against Glasgow Warriors, Leinster Rugby (112, +75%) promoted U20 Irish Star Sam Prendergast to a senior contract and Paralympics Ireland (43, +65%) celebrated as Limerick’s Róisin Ní Riain edged out her competition by .09 of a second to win gold in the 100m backstroke at the Para Swimming World Championships.



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A post shared by Ulster Rugby (@officialulsterrugby)



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A post shared by Leinster Rugby (@leinsterrugby)


Irish Rugby topped the average engagements per post rankings for the fourth month in a row with an average of 13,783 public engagements per post (+28%) as sixteen home wins on the bounce sent them to France in fine form. Ireland Football in second (6,096, -5%) thanked Áine O’Gorman for her contribution to the Women’s game as she retired from international football as Ireland’s joint sixth top goal scorer, and in third, Dublin GAA (3,555, -46%) celebrated more success as the Ladies Football team beat Kerry to win the All-Ireland.



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A post shared by Irish Rugby (@irishrugby)



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A post shared by Ireland Football (@irelandfootball)



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A post shared by Dublin GAA (@dubgaaofficial)


The Camogie Association (781, +88%) celebrated 30,191 fans attending their largest stand-alone All Ireland Camogie Finals to date and Irish Sailing (288, +43%) congratulated Clementine and Nathan Van Steenberge as they became the 2023 29er World Champions.





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A post shared by Irish Sailing (@irishsailing)

For the third month in a row, Athletics Ireland (11,290) took the top spot for the ‘average engagements per 1000 followers’ metric as the Irish team excelled in Budapest, including a national record and a 4th in the world finish for Ciara Mageean in the 1500m, and an appearance in the 4x400m Final for the team of Becker, McGrory, Harrison and Mawdsley.



Cricket Ireland posted the top-performing content on Instagram in August as they hosted India in an ODI Series.  This post has generated over 70,000 public engagements to date.



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A post shared by Cricket Ireland (@cricket_ireland)

August 2023 Highlights on TikTok


258 TikToks were posted by member organisations in August, a slight 2% increase on July. These posts generated 499,516 engagements (+22%) and an impressive 7,174,873 views (+64%).

Horse Racing Ireland topped the activity charts in August with 48 posts as they took us behind the scenes with commentator Richard Pugh as he led fans through the final moments of the 2023 Tote Galway Plate.


@hriracing Commentator, Richard Pugh takes us through the final moments of the 2023 Tote Galway Plate 🤯 What a talent! 🐎👏 #galwayraces #racingcommentary ♬ original sound – Horse Racing Ireland

In second, Irish Rugby (40) allowed us into their pre Rugby World Cup camp in Portugal, and in third the URC (27) celebrated Keith Earl’s 100th cap for Ireland by featuring some of his contributions in a Munster jersey.


@irishrugby Checking in for day one in Portugal! ✅ #TeamOfUs ♬ suono originale – onxlyfast


@urc Keith Earls doing Keith Earls things 😍 #rugby #sports #unitedrugbychampionship ♬ original sound – dd


When ranked by average engagement per post, the Ireland Football account (8,863) took the top spot for the sixth month in a row as they said Happy Birthday to Roy Keane. In second, Irish Rugby (6,453) interviewed a celebrity guest at the team’s training, and in third, Dublin GAA (2,791) enjoyed a special performance from Eoin Murchan at the Mansion House .


@ireland Happy Birthday to the one & only Roy Keane 💚 #roykeane #ireland #irelandfootball #coybig ♬ original sound – Ireland


@irishrugby Pleasure to host you today, @Niall Horan! 🤝 #TeamOfUs ♬ original sound – Irish Rugby


@dubgaaofficial 🎶 A man of many talents… Eoin Murchan put on a show at the Mansion House yesterday! #upthedubs #dublingaa #gaa #football #Dublin ♬ original sound – Dublin GAA

The IRFU topped the viewing charts (2,686,098), followed by Ireland Football (1,783,377) and HRI (855,203).

With Ireland in France for their assault on the Rugby World Cup, their content provided six of the top ten most engaged with content on the platform, and we expect to see this rise in September’s analysis – they also provided the top content on TikTok for August as the team landed in Portugal and acclimatised to the heat with a beach recovery session. This content has generated over 65,000 public engagements in the form of views, likes, comments and shares to date.


@irishrugby Landed in the Algarve! ☀️ #TeamOfUs ♬ original sound – Keltro





If you would like to be part of the Sport for Business community and be added to the list, email us today and let’s see what is possible. If you would like a more detailed analysis of your social media activity, contact ross@olytico.com